Digital sector saves day for music market

TECHNOLOGICAL advancement is changing the face of the music industry for good despite getting a bad press recently over piracy, top record label executives declared yesterday.

Digital music revenues grew eight per cent in 2011 to $5.2bn (£3.3bn), crossing the $5bn mark for the first time, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.

The digital sector accounted for almost a third of the $16.2bn total revenue from across the recorded music market, which was down three per cent on the previous year in the slowest rate of decline since 2004.

The year which saw Adele release the best-selling digital album of all time in the US also witnessed the spread of digital music services from 23 to 58 countries.

Edgar Berger, chief executive of International at Sony Music, said: “There is now a positive outlook on the music industry – we are moving from a headwind to a tailwind.

“The internet is a blessing for the record industry, and the digital era has changed the way the music business operates.”

While over a quarter of internet users access illegal sites on a monthly basis, music industry representatives feel confident that 2012 will see piracy further stifled, following in the footsteps of last week’s swoop on Megaupload.com.

Rob Wells, president of Universal Music’s global digital business, said: “My crystal ball is telling me that 2012 will be quite a significant year in the history of the music industry.”